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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - June 30, 2005

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Ferns, Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs
Title: Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Most cemeteries have some landscaping guidelines so the first thing you need to learn is whether there are guidelines, or restrictions, about what you can plant there. The Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) sounds like a good candidate for your site. You might want to consider one of the more compact, dwarf varieties, such as 'Silverado'(tm). Another possibility for a native evergreen shrub is the wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). There are also dwarf wax myrtle varieties.

You might also consider a perennial native bunch grass such as Gulf muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris). In the fall it turns a beautiful feathery pink and tolerates being cut back occasionally. Another attractive native clump grass, inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), might also be a possibility.

For an evergreen plant that isn't a bush or grass you might consider the native cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea).

 

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